Preparation for Internship Program

The countdown to leave for TEAMeffort’s 2021 Internship Is getting closer and closer! TEAMeffort is an amazing mission organization that works with several locations to help with disaster relief and those in need while having nightly chapel and fun memories made with each youth group’s staff leader! I always will remember and look forward to tie-dye Tuesday, nerf gun wars, and competitive games of Uno after chapel! TEAMeffort makes it possible to make many personal connections with others that are unforgettable. The internship program will include growth through discipleship training, mission trips, and more all while completing a semester in college. I have been praying for an opportunity to grow, learn, and help impact others, and God placed this amazing internship right in front of me! I was a camper for years and planned to be on staff with TEAMeffort so this is perfect. From this Internship, I hope to gain new friends who are believers, but also to reach out to people in this new area and make new connections! Usually, before I leave for a new journey or am leaving home for a while, I do get extremely nervous and scared, but God has calmed my nerves tremendously! I think the only thing that will be the hardest is saying goodbye to my family here in Maryland, but I know that this is what God has in store for me. I am so excited for this next step and to make some amazing memories! I have only packed and repacked about a billion times, although my momma keeps telling me to try and not bring everything but the kitchen sink! I have been trying to be more intentional about my quiet times and to get into the word when I may be bored or listen to some new worship jams... The days, hours, minutes, and seconds are almost up and I will be in Jacksonville, Florida soaking up the “Son”!

Starting the Internship Program

As I turned onto Lake Asbury Drive, with my “remarkable” driving skills…. I got this rush of emotions. Nervous about what is next, emotional to leave my parents, excited for new relationships, scared thoughts of “am I prepared for this?” ….. But as I got out of the car and met these amazing people who I know will turn into lifelong friendships & family, the feelings started to slowly go away. When we walked down to this glorious lake view, I got this sense of calmness and peace. I knew right then that God has me exactly where I needed to be in this season of my walk with Him! I think the most area of growth I am stoked to go through is firstly to increase my knowledge of scripture and His word, but also applying it into my everyday walk and sharing His amazing and beautiful word with campers, friends, but also strangers. In all honestly, my only fear is if something were to happen to those I cherish back home and not being there for them, but that is where trust comes into place and knowing that God has each one of us wrapped around in His arms. I am beyond joyful to meet and form relationships with new people and get to know the other interns and staff. I would have to say the highlights of traveling about 14 hours from MD to Fl were the 4-hour nap I took : ), the yummy cookout & Starbucks stop we made, and screaming to the top of our lungs worship music and the throwbacks, of course! I would also say that capturing and posting the embarrassing napping pictures became a war on the way down between momma and me (lol check Facebook to see who won)! Spending the weekend getting to know everyone has been very fun! Seeing who packed the most stuff? Who is the best/worst driver? Who is going to do the best cannonball into the lake? I will let you all figure out the answers to these, haha! 
A few of the women went to a Ladies Night which had an amazing message about being a conquer in Romans 8, followed by a Target trip that resulted in everyone trying the new Lady Gaga Oreos! We spent our first Sunday going to a pretty awesome church that talked in 1 John about the Word of Life, grocery shopping on a budget (we did better than we guessed lol), dinner with the new Florida family, <3 and sort of successfully canoeing with a few minor alligator attacks…. kidding, well kinda! Sunday night, after so many competitive rounds of Spicy Uno, a few of us decided to go watch the sunrise the next morning, but once we woke up and got our coffee made, we realized that it was extremely cloudy : ( We checked the weather app which forecasted cloudy skies all day, so we debated whether it was worth going out to the lake…. We ended up walking out anyways with our coffee & blankets to sit and talk… I looked down for about a minute at the cute little fishies in the lake and looked up and OHHH MYY GOODNESS! God created this beautiful, peaceful sunrise for us to be in awe of : ) Walking back, I knew this was God reminding me to never doubt what amazing things He can perform in my life! I am so so sooo excited for what God has in store for our silly Jesus loving group! (PS: If you ever stop by Florida, Maple Street Biscuit Company is a Must, So Delicious!!)

West Virginia Retreat

Heyyoo! We just got back from our TE Intern Retreat in West Virginia, and it was awesome. There's nothing better than falling on my face constantly and zooming down the slopes faster than ever ha-ha…. Yes, we did go skiing! Not knowing how to stop was such a great learning experience after going faster and faster until I fell. Skiing onto the picnic table area was such a hilarious moment that I am still recovering from. But something that I learned from my first-time skiing is that every time we fall, God helps us get back up again! Not just psychically falling, but also our emotional and spiritual falls. So many times, we go through seasons of struggles and pain, but what we forget is how powerful our Lord is! We got to do our bible study at the Ski resort while drinking hot cocoa and my favorite part was realizing how graceful our God is and how he freely gives us His amazing grace! Morning and afternoon devotions were one of my favorite parts because of hearing God speak through the others and soaking in His word. I talked about how we shouldn’t worry about anything because God is in control. Fun fact: what we worry the most about is what we trust God the least in! intense worship sessions were filled with the holy spirit and I definitely felt growth between the interns and staff. We also had some songwriting sessions and spontaneous performances by yours truly… no there are no available videos ha-ha! The ten-hour car rides did not feel like the whole ten hours which could be because of the awesome jam sessions, naps, and the categories games we played along with snacks, snacks, and of course more snacks : ) The lord has been teaching me the importance of community and how vital it is to have a God-led community to encourage and fellowship with which is 100% what I have with my TE family. Oh, and we also got to make snow angels and have a friendly but vicious snowball fight. Definitely, a retreat filled with memories, laughs, and growth!

Preparation for Spring Break

Hiiiiaa! We are about a week away from our first spring break camp for this year, and I am so pumped! From Walmart trips to running through the chapel and other things we have been pretty busy, but it’s the best type of busy we could be. I have loved being able to watch our worship team prepare and jamming from the sound booth! It's like a live concert every time : ) I would say that I am a bit nervous about finding a balance with college and spring break camps, but the office has been extremely flexible in making sure I am prioritizing both which is a huge help! Something that I am more anxious than nervous about is sharing my message for my night and my testimony, but I am mostly more excited because I related to the message so much as a camper at TEAMeffort whenever the staff would speak. Having the opportunity to share His beautiful word, but also praying that something is taken away and the campers are impacted is definitely in God's hands and learning to fully trust Him is vital.  Everyone has multiple roles during spring break camps which really makes it a TEAM effort, haha! I am speaking Wednesday night and have been helping in the sound booth which is a fun experience. This goes along with co-leading on the worksite, interacting with the campers, and other odds and ends that really make a huge impact on making this a God-filled and encountered experience for everyone! I cannot tell you how much I have grown spiritually within my first month in this internship! Continuing to live out my faith, make spiritual goals, and prioritizing alone time with God has been sooo impactful. I encourage you to make several spiritual goals you have for yourself!
 One of mine is being bold in my prayer life, which man has God really allowed me to grow tremendously in my prayer life! I have overcome and conquered some trials that I thought I had already but didn’t and dividing deeply into His word and realizing how applicable it is to my everyday life is amazing. But there is always more room to grow with the Lord which is very exciting. Speaking of being bold in prayer, I would say one of the things I am praying for campers is that the spiritual high we all get after being at camp for a week doesn’t disappear. A lot of times, coming from a past TE camper, we get so pumped for Jesus, and after the first week or so that we get back home and the problems and trials we escaped for a week are waiting for us and I didn’t know how to handle them. So, praying for the campers to continue to live for the Lord and be strong in their faith, even when times get tough, and knowing that He will never leave you stranded!  And if you’ve read this far, I would like to encourage you to also be in prayer for the TEAMeffort staff, campers, homeowners, and everyone that will be encountered this spring and summer! Thanks a bunch, yall : )